Major Chemistry

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Take matter into your own hands.

Majoring in chemistry at Clark puts the physical makeup of our world — from nanoparticles to DNA and the elements on the periodic table — under your microscope and into your hands. You’ll engage in research as early as your first year and collaborate on new discoveries with leading professors in the field.

Chemistry requires a sense of adventure; as you explore the hidden structure and properties of matter, you’ll learn what the world is made of — not to mention what you’re made of. Through hands-on learning, lab work, and internship experiences, you’ll emerge prepared for an adventurous and rewarding career.

Why Study Chemistry at Clark?

  • Conduct research alongside faculty members and doctoral students, using cutting-edge research equipment like our nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in our state-of-the-art labs.
  • Customize your educational experience by choosing from the standard track or the American Chemical Society (ACS)-certified track.
  • Study with professors who have expertise in a diverse range of specialties, including an American Chemical Society Fellow and a John A. Timm Award recipient (the highest honor given by the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers).
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Your Will. Your Way.

The Major Path

As a chemistry major, you will select one of two tracks based on your career goals:

  • The American Chemical Society (ACS)-certified track, which meets the entrance requirements for graduate study in chemistry, is recommended if you want to pursue a profession in the chemical sciences.
  • The standard track, which offers more latitude in course selection, is appropriate for students who plan to pursue one of the health professions* (medical, dental, veterinary), public school teaching, technical sales, or other chemistry-related fields.

For your first two years, requirements are identical for the two tracks.

All students are required to take two courses each in calculus and physics. (If you’re planning to go on to graduate school, we strongly urge you to take additional advanced courses in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biochemistry while at Clark.) You’ll also be required to demonstrate competence in communicating chemical concepts (for example,  through reports based on research in the chemical literature, Academic Spree Day or Fall Fest presentations, directed study papers, honors theses, or publications), as well as take a standardized undergraduate chemistry knowledge diagnostic exam before graduation.

Tutoring in chemistry is available, free of charge, five days a week.

* A robust Pre-health Advising Program is available if you’re interested in pursuing a career in the health professions.

Skills you will learn include how to:

  • Solve problems that require the analysis of unknown substances or the synthesis of new molecules or materials.
  • Collaborate efficiently and productively with colleagues in other fields, such as biology, physics, materials science, environmental science, or biomedical engineering.
  • Read primary literature critically, analyze complex data, and identify relevant trends.
  • Communicate information effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Work as part of a team.

Learn about our facilities and equipment available for teaching and research, and the resources at Clark’s Carlson Science Library.

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the chemistry honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors thesis topics are:

  • Autonomous Ion-Selective Electrodes for Measuring Carbonate in Seawater Systems
  • Paraffin-Bearing Polymethacrylates and Polymethacrylamides as Solid-Solid Phase Change Materials: Effect of Spacer Length on Heat Storage Capacity
  • Polymer-Templated Wet Chemical Synthesis of Plasmonic Nanoparticles

The LEEP difference

An education merging knowledge, action, and impact

With Liberal Education and Effective Practice, lessons begin in the classroom but never end there. Your learning includes world and workplace experiences that forge your skills and shape your path.

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Explore what the Chemistry Department has to offer